published Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Public Education

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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OllieH said...

The adults are much more pathetic. By far.

Very nice, Clay.

September 28, 2010 at 1:29 a.m.
nucanuck said...

Not just education.

How could we have let the world pass us by? We had it all and let it slip away. I have a feeling that a renewal will have to come from the family/community level.

Our government is overwhelmed and so conflicted that solutions don't seem possible. Solving our problems at the local level may be our best hope.

September 28, 2010 at 1:47 a.m.
woody said...'re both right.

We adults have let our children down. We didn't hold them to the same standards our parents held us to.

Sure, the schools, teachers and, in no lesser way, our elected leaders have all become complacent, and we have allowed it.

But, I believe if we were to regain control of the situation at home that would be a big step forward toward a solution. Face it, if we can't do that, how could we possibly hope to change the rest?

Thanks for the 'wake up' Clay, Woody

September 28, 2010 at 6:10 a.m.
pmcauley said...

I wonder what the stats are for the number of adults that can't find Africa on the map? :(

September 28, 2010 at 7:12 a.m.
woody said...

Well, PM, since audulthood begins at 21, you'll have to be more thinks.

Optimistic, as always, Woody

September 28, 2010 at 7:19 a.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Wonder how many adults think Africa is a country not a continent? I can think of one. She was the 2008 GOP Vice Presidential nominee. Pretty pathetic.

September 28, 2010 at 7:23 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

And our President once said we have 57 states? Maybe the Ivy League isn't all it's cracked up to be. "Pretty pathetic"? Naw, everyone makes mistakes except Jesus, yes, Him again.

As for education policy, D.C. just voted out a mayor whose education czarina had been doing a good job on just about the worst, yet most expensive, tax-paid schools in the country.

The trouble with tax-paid schools is that the customers have to pay whether they like the product or not, so the producers have little incentive to please each customer. Business have to keep customers happy in order to get money and stay in business, but tax-paid outfits get paid whether the "customers" like it or not. So privatize all the schools; Jesus, President of presidents, didn't say governments should run schools.

Since the schools always want more money, a moderate improvement would be what I call "spending-cut scholarships": pay students to go study somewhere else. If Chattanooga's tax-paid schools cost about $8000 per student per year, offering students who would otherwise be taking the taxpayers for that eight grand $4000 to go study somewhere else (home, private, or other public, or drop out and study real life) would save the taxpayers money, and leave more money per student for those who stay (the laws could be written that way, so that students who leave get counted); it would increase the diversity of education received; it would increase parental involvement... If Jim Scales isn't doing this, he's wasting our money.

And two words for the despised "birthers." One, we know our President is choosing to conceal relevant information, namely the full and detailed official Hawaii record (possibly also records of his mother's travels.) We know this information exists; we know President Obama is hiding it. Right? So--two--we are entitled to speculate as to why. My guess is he was born in Hawaii, and is hiding the info to make his political opponents look silly and to keep people distracted from more important matters. Neither motive would be much to his credit, but we can understand. But if--if--the information would make Joe Biden our President (I assume that if the birthers are right, President Obama would automatically be out, and that that would put Biden in), if it shows he's stolen his office, of course he has to hide it (though I would think he could've forged suitable info by now.) I had assumed his mother being American would make him American wherever he was born, but someone who had apparently looked up the laws wrote otherwise.

Isn't it "pathetic" to despise people? Jesus didn't.

September 28, 2010 at 8 a.m.
eeeeeek said...

As believable as it is... I think the Africa is a country comment turned out to be a hoax.

September 28, 2010 at 8:05 a.m.
eeeeeek said...

Speaking of hoaxes.. Andrew's ranting about that jesus character again.

September 28, 2010 at 8:08 a.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Here you go, eek,

As much as Wasilly Sarah would like it to go away, this came from the McCain camp, people who were coaching her for the debates. They had a big job ahead of them. Watch the Fox Video.

September 28, 2010 at 8:21 a.m.
bret said...

If we followed Andrew's "logic" and paid half the kids $4000 to study somewhere else, the cost per student would then rise dramatically to at least $12K-$15K per student. Let's see if Andrew can figure out why.

September 28, 2010 at 8:34 a.m.
BobMKE said...

Our President should just show his birth certificate and put a stop to all of his nonsense. He then should stop campaigning for President and go about his very difficult duties as our President and Commander-In-Chief.

September 28, 2010 at 8:36 a.m.
GreenKepi said...

Draw a cartoon attempting to explain why the President has spent sums estimated over $1 million to avoid releasing a state birth certificate…and draw into that the documentation not yet available for his kindergarten records, Punahou school records, Occidental College records, Columbia University records, Columbia thesis, Harvard Law School records, Harvard Law Review articles, scholarly articles from the University of Chicago, passport, medical records, files from his years as an Illinois state senator, his Illinois State Bar Association records, any baptism records, and his adoption records. Please?

September 28, 2010 at 8:47 a.m.
eeeeeek said...

Thanks San. I'll watch it when I get home.. video content is blocked here at work.

September 28, 2010 at 8:49 a.m.
alprova said...

AndrewLohr wrote: "And our President once said we have 57 states? Maybe the Ivy League isn't all it's cracked up to be. "Pretty pathetic"? Naw, everyone makes mistakes..."

Do you REALLY think that when he made that blunder, that it was due to his inability to recall how many states there were in our nation?

I don't suppose that you have EVER made a verbal blunder in your life while having one thing on your mind and saying something else.

Snopes will set you straight;

And two words for the despised "birthers." One, we know our President is choosing to conceal relevant information, namely the full and detailed official Hawaii record (possibly also records of his mother's travels.) We know this information exists; we know President Obama is hiding it. Right?

Wrong. Every attempt to dispel the rumors surrounding his birth have been made REPEATEDLY, including having published more proof ever in the history of man to do it.

Anyone at this point who believes that our President was born anywhere but in Honolulu, Hawaii is a complete moron.

Aren't you the guy who has constantly called people down for bearing false witness?

Thou incredible and pathetic hypocrite.

September 28, 2010 at 9:06 a.m.
Francis said...

no, what's pathetic is we have a president who can't locate africa on a map, but knows where all the good golf courses are.

57 states? what's amazing is that obama was born in hawaii..the 50th state. you think it would sink in.

any confusion regarding his birth is his own fault. and given the act he put on during the campaign and the obvious attempt by the media to cover up his history and associations.....why wouldn't people doubt it?

i think he was born in hawaii. but his inability to put it to rest is his own doing.

you liberals obsession with sarah palin is bordering on the ridiculous... what are you scared of if she's so stupid? you have a vice president who thinks he's second in line to the presidency, a president who thought there are 57 states and a speaker of the house who thinks it's ok to pass a bill in order to see what's in it.... so stupidy, you should be used to.

September 28, 2010 at 9:10 a.m.
eeeeeek said...

BobMKE and GreenKepi is prime examples of the dumbing down of America....

GreenKepi... Please! Flush your racist a and mouth... both ends are full of it.

To prove you are an American citizen, all you need is a birth certificate. Which has been shown. The President wouldn't have even made it through the filing process to run if it hadn't been shown.

McCain was born on a base in Panama. At least Obama was born in a US State.

Baptism records? WTF " religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

September 28, 2010 at 9:10 a.m.
Francis said...

how is obama being born in a state superior to mccain being born on a military base in panama...which is u.s. territory, by the way....

dumb comment

September 28, 2010 at 9:15 a.m.
eeeeeek said...

Francis said "dumb comment" bwah hah hah..

Next thing she'll say is "Not only is Obama not a U.S. citizen, he isn't even human. The other day I was having lunch with Sarah Palin's hologram and a little green man from inner Earth, and they both told me this. What more proof do you need?"

September 28, 2010 at 9:31 a.m.
moon4kat said...

Thank you, TFP, for Clay Bennett; he's a brilliant social commentator/cartoonist. We're lucky to have him in our newspaper.

September 28, 2010 at 9:42 a.m.
alprova said...

BobMKE wrote: "Our President should just show his birth certificate and put a stop to all of his nonsense. He then should stop campaigning for President and go about his very difficult duties as our President and Commander-In-Chief."

He did.

The State of Hawaii has gone both on verbal and written record attesting to this birth and the fact that the birth certificate that is online for all the world to see is genuine, valid, legal, and erases any doubt whatsoever that he was born anywhere other than in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961.

The 'nonsense' as you put it, is being perpetuated by those who refuse to use their brain cells to think logically. The rest of us have moved on from entertaining this stupidity a long time ago.

Don't you people think that if there was a shred of proof to dispute the fact that he was born in Hawaii, that one of at least a dozen lawsuits supposedly filed in this country, would have been heard by a judge by now?

How do some of you people function day to day, if you can't at least get past this thoroughly debunked issue that has been ongoing for more than two years now?

September 28, 2010 at 9:50 a.m.
alprova said...

GreenKepi, where's the proof to a word you wrote?

September 28, 2010 at 9:53 a.m.
Francis said...

yeah..eeeeeek..explain how obama being born in a state is superior to mccain being born on a u.s. military base, which is u.s. territory.

you said "at least he was born in a state" ...what does that mean.

if it were the reverse would you say the same thing.

clay bennett is a propgandist. he's not capable of honest insight. it's simply liberal good, conservative good, repbulican bad.....that takes a lot of thought.

sorry, but as conservative as i am...not for one second do i think republicans are incapable of corruption, hypocracy, incompetance or are they correct about everything...

by the way..eeeeeek..francis is man's name..frances is the female version

September 28, 2010 at 10:04 a.m.
GreenKepi said...

Prove they exist...prove me wrong...(alprova)...and eeeeeek..where did you get that mouth? What did I say for you to call me "racist"? Man! What a rant!!!

September 28, 2010 at 10:07 a.m.
whatever said...

If people genuinely believe the President must disclose all his records, well they are welcome to petition Congress to require it, or for an Amendment. I suggest they do so for ALL politicians, not just one. But...

In this case, if you want, go to Hawaii yourself, you can see public papers, and talk to some of the people who were alive back then.

Better hurry, they might die suspiciously of old age if you wait much longer.

And no, the President doesn't believe there are fifty-seven states, people say the wrong thing. A speaker at my church once said we should worship Satan, does that mean he's really a Satanist?

September 28, 2010 at 10:08 a.m.
Hoppergrasser said...

Do y'all remember when George W. Bush had all his records and personal information shipped off and locked up at his father's Presidential Library?

September 28, 2010 at 10:33 a.m.
MountainJoe said...

It's silly to see everyone arguing about where Obama was born, when the real issue relevant to the cartoon is the sorry state of education in America.

Before the federal department of education was created ... America = number one in the world in math and science education.

After 50+ years of (unconstitutional) federal involvement in education ... America = not even in the top 20.

Coincidence? I think not.

As a friend of mine once said ... even if the federal department of education were constitutional ... it should be abolished for not doing its job.

September 28, 2010 at 11:12 a.m.
alprova said...

GeenKepi wrote: "Prove they exist...prove me wrong...(alprova)"

With what little respect you deserve with that childish response, it is impossible to prove something that has never been in evidence. However, if what you claim were remotely true, it has to be supported somehow, somewhere, with some basis of fact.

You claimed that "the President has spent sums estimated over $1 million to avoid releasing a state birth certificate"

Now, I can't prove that he spent NOTHING to avoid releasing his birth certificate, but if the man spent more than a million dollars, as you claim, wouldn't there be proof of such an expenditure somewhere? Where did the monetary claim come from, if the proof of the claim can't be pointed to?

President Obama doesn't have to spend one thin dime to keep his vital records private and inaccessible to the public. In Hawaii, access to vital records is restricted by statute HRS §338-18, which states;

(b) The department shall not permit inspection of public health statistics records, or issue a certified copy of any such record or part thereof, unless it is satisfied that the applicant has a direct and tangible interest in the record.

And to head off any other stupid arguments on the subject, that particular code of law was written in 1949, twelve years before the President was born.

I know where you obtained your information, and it's the core reason why you cannot respond with anything other than a child's taunt.

It's a blog-born lie. Someone made it up, it was copied and pasted, and it goes viral. Then people like you stumble across it, or seek it, and you adopt it as fact.

And it is now a lie that you have told, making it your own lie to either defend or to wallow in like most liars do.

Prove you wrong? How could I? You were never right to begin with.

September 28, 2010 at 11:24 a.m.
GreenKepi said...

alprova...let's see... "I deserve little respect, I am childish, my claims are not remotely true and false, you know where I copied pasted my lies, and I was never right to began with"...not much left for me to there? I wish I were so intellectually superior..

September 28, 2010 at 11:42 a.m.
alprova said...

Mountain Joe wrote: "As a friend of mine once said ... even if the federal department of education were constitutional ... it should be abolished for not doing its job."

Okay, I am officially declaring my ignorance when it comes to the role of the Federal Government in the education of our kids.

I would like for someone to explain to me how it is that the Federal Government shares in any of the blame for our kids not being educated. I'm a few years removed from any interest in the issue, but my kids are doing rather well for themselves, despite being educated in public schools.

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but The Government's role is to dole out money to our public schools, which is combined with those funds raised at the local levels.

Am I wrong to assume that the Government does not dictate curriculum or has on record, any codes of law that demand what is to be taught to our children? If not, then those laws are sure kept a national secret.

Is the education in fact, not performed at the local levels by the teachers in the classroom, and is monitored by boards of education, also at the local levels?

What am I missing here? Is everything the fault of the Federal Government? They sure seem to be doing their job in dispensing funds to fund, in part, for our educational system.

When do parents accept responsibility for any failures of their children to receive a decent education? When do teachers accept responsibility for failing to teach? And when do kids themselves accept responsibility for any lack of applying themselves to seek a good education?

Blaming the Government for what is not getting done in your child's school is a little weak. It's like blaming the Government if you don't have a job.

September 28, 2010 at 11:48 a.m.
alprova said...

GreenKepi wrote: "alprova...let's see... "I deserve little respect, I am childish, my claims are not remotely true and false, you know where I copied pasted my lies, and I was never right to began with"...not much left for me to there? I wish I were so intellectually superior.."

You deserve little respect for dispensing rumor recklessly, and for not fact-checking the issue for the truth. You are childish for responding to a legitimate challenge with, "prove me wrong."

The claim that he has spent more than a million dollars to fight the release of his birth certificate exists only in the blogoshere and on anti-Obama sites. The fact is, his privacy rights are the same as yours. He need not spend any more than you do to protect them.

Now I don't know from which specific site you derived that information, but what I do know is that there are hundreds, if not thousands of such sites, none of which offers a shred of proof that the President has spent so much as a one penny fighting the release of his birth certificate. In fact, he, himself, allowed the document to be examined by several members of the press in 2008, in an effort to mute the morons.

You were...never right.

While I appreciate the nomination for being intellectually superior, I make no such claim myself.

What I do try to do however, is to be rather sure that when I type a statement that is written and presented as fact, that I stand ready to back it up with proof that it is indeed fact.

When George W. Bush was President, I defended the man many times when people lied about him, even though the man made my skin crawl whenever he spoke.

When it comes to President Obama, I make no bones about the fact that I like the man very much, but I defend him in the same manner as I did GWB.

Opinions are one thing, and facts and truth are quite another. If someone can't stick to the truth and facts to make their point, then they shouldn't be too surprised when they are called upon to stand up and to defend them.

September 28, 2010 at 12:28 p.m.
Clara said...


Thanks for the Facts Check. I've added it to Scopes! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A long time ago, in a Public Elementary School, I learned from perhaps my 6th grade teacher, that free education was provided only to supply an educated work force for burdgeoning industrial and private enterprise. This was fostered by those who needed an educated store clerk or mechanic or telephone operator who had a basic knowledge of the ABC's and numbers to handle a task. That meant at least an elementary education. A lot of people never went beyond that, in that generation

Gradually, the education was dumbed down, and requirements in education were eased. People went to High School, and a few privledged went to college, and in this third generation, for the most part, are learning in college what what have been high school education.

The community colleges are great, and I attended until 2000, but I always thought of them as super high schools, although they did offer classes eligigle for entry into a regular college.

I remember my "Mama" telling me that my "Papa" went to high school or Gymnasium in Holland, which was the equivalent of college in America, even back then.

I'm sure this post is confusing, and I apologize.

I know lots of teachers, too, who are ignorant, biased,liars, close-minded and cheats! Others, too, who really want to help the children and youth to grow, no matter what the young people's background.


September 28, 2010 at 1:17 p.m.
alprova said...

Francis, the MAN, wrote: "no, what's pathetic is we have a president who can't locate africa on a map, but knows where all the good golf courses are."

I wish some of you people would make up your mind. First the claim is that he's from Africa, and now we have someone claiming he can't find it on a map.

Francis, do you think you could stand toe to toe with him in a debate, on anything? Not a chance.

And for the record, the man is entitled to some leisure time just like anyone else. His record of leisure in no manner compares to that of past Presidents.

Is this the best that people can come up with?

"i think he was born in hawaii. but his inability to put it to rest is his own doing."


"you liberals obsession with sarah palin is bordering on the ridiculous..."

You think we're bad? Wait until she attempts to run up against the group of Republicans who will all be attempting to seek that Republican nomination. They'll shred her like she was made of crepe paper.

"you have a vice president who thinks he's second in line to the presidency"

I don't know when this was supposed to have been said, and under what circumstances, but I can easily understand what he may have meant when he made that gaffe.

He's second in command. He's second in line to that of President Obama. Literally, it is a goof, but nothing more than a goof.

Biden is not one of my favorite people, but the man is rather beloved in Delaware, and he's not the idiot that some people make him out to be. If he used a little more tact, the man would be seen as a genius.

This reminds me of the "potatoe" crap that plagued and still plagues former Republican President Dan Quayle to this day. He didn't deserve all that crap.

There are very few people in this world who do not have to check their spelling every now and then. And given that the "e" exists in the word in it's plural form, it is easy to see why someone goofs now and then.

And the goof originated on the part of the teacher who wrote the card he was reading from. How many people remember THAT little detail? He never once mentioned that fact until he revealed it in a book he wrote years later.

He took the heat like a man, rather than to embarrass the teacher at the time.

Now THAT's a gentleman, and a man whom I immediately gained a deep respect for, the second I read his passing remarks about that most embarrassing day.

September 28, 2010 at 2:02 p.m.
woody said...

Al..the only one I can think of is "W's" "No Child Left Behind" program..oh boy, what a stinker. Ask any teacher worth their 'salt' and they'll tell you it would never work.

But that was "W", who, as governor of Texas, also thought teaching students how to take competency tests was the same as TEACHING them...

I can find Africa on a map, Woody

September 28, 2010 at 2:30 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

Alprova, surely you have heard of No Child Left Behind. That was a great idea (sarcasm) by GWB and instituted a "one size fits all" strategy in which our children are educated and assessed through the public system. In it's early days it focused primarily on memorization and was not a very effective assessment tool as it is a yearly, comprehensive test which was built upon one of the weakest teaching strategies available. Over the years, they have improved the test so that students must demonstrate a broader understanding of the material. However, one of the larger problems with NCLB is the fact that it is standardized, and not student centered. When students are thought of as individuals and taught as such, our test scores will improve. The feds, state, and local gov't involved in education are about as teacher centered as can be, which is not condusive to us producing the number one students in the world.

September 28, 2010 at 2:31 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

Woops, I just missed ya, Woody. And, lol at me for misspelling Conducive in a thread about education. There's some irony. What's an iron? Is that near the capitol of Africa?

September 28, 2010 at 2:38 p.m.
captainrt said...

I saw an article today that stated over half of American High School students today do not know how to operate a can opener and stare blankly at an ice tray. If/when society crumbles, I will be a god!

I know how to operate both!

September 28, 2010 at 4:19 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

I agree Musicman. As an educator I know that assessment tools that really measure kids' ability to process information and think critically and problem solve are non-existent outside individual teacher's classrooms and would be expensive to design, implement and score.

We have burdened ourselves with content-based exit exams, while professional organizations for teaching tell us that they are not effective. Take secondary school science: The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Science Foundation, the National Science Teachers Association and specific organizations for the various disciplines recommend more and more hands-on, open inquiry, fewer topics at greater depth. Meanwhile, NCLB heads in the opposite direction, with state and national tests that force teachers to cram a huge amount of content that leaves no time for depth.

September 28, 2010 at 4:31 p.m.
easyeintn said...

What is the difference between President Obama and his dog Bo?

Bo has his papers....

September 28, 2010 at 4:54 p.m.
junepop55 said...

easyeintn - that's hilarious. I like humor and that's funny.

Speaking of humor, you all may or may not have surmised, but because of my little web project, I’ve amassed a searchable database of canaryinthecoalmine posts. Slogging through those hateful words was a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, complete with the accompanying nausea. Every time I thought I glimpsed a bit of humanity, maybe finding a rational, caring person, I would get slammed with hateful, vile words of self-righteous judgment. But it was all worth it. Because I cracked the code. Canary’s secrets are now mine. Don’t stare at your screen like that. I really did.

The key is the word “Bub” which appears often in Canary posts. Curious word, Bub. Not Bud, or Buddy, but Bub. Bub is actually Canary’s codeword acknowledgement of her lord and master, Beelzebub, prince of hell, second in command to Lucifer himself. Just as Carol Burnett had her earlobe tug on her TV show, so too does Canary send her coded signal of devotion. Having forged an unholy pact with the underworld in which Canary traded her immortal soul for the inhuman powers of stubborn obstinance in the face of implacable logic, she wanders the web spreading misery in forums until the end of days.

There is no other explanation for the insults, vile rudeness, attacks, and avoidance of facts. It matters not the content or side of argument, but the spreading of misery and hate that serves her unholy master. Especially when it is wrapped in her hypocritical trappings of Christianity. To spread such on this world can only serve one power: Satan himself.

Eat your heart out, Dan Brown. Your Da Vinci Code is nothing as to the Canary Code.>

lkeithlu said...

June, you are my new HEEEE-ERO!!!

September 28, 2010 at 6:23 p.m.
whatever said...

Before the federal department of education was created ... America = number one in the world in math and science education.

But how would the students of those days measure up today? Maybe those tests back then weren't very accurate, or maybe the student population is different? Be interesting to control for all the variables.

As a friend of mine once said ... even if the federal department of education were constitutional ... it should be abolished for not doing its job.

You do realize that the Federal Department of Education only has 70 billion in funding, right?

Believe it or not, in the United States, local school boards have most of the responsibility for educational activity. While those other countries? How do you believe they run their education systems? What should we learn from them if they're doing so much better?

September 28, 2010 at 6:27 p.m.
alprova said...

Woody and Musicman375, thanks for the posts on NCLB. I've paid scant attention to it, despite constant references to the program by the media for years.

I have no doubt that public schools have changed since I attended them. I loved school myself, and I had my ups and downs with grades. But I always liked going to school. I have fond memories of many of my teachers, who inspired me to want to learn.

I don't remember politics being a part of public schools as it seems to be now. Parents were involved with their education, but political differences were not raised like they are now.

And because I am not involved in schools anymore, to any degree, I'll abstain from commenting any further, because I simply am not aware of the problems that people are up in arms about.

I'm just not sure that the Federal Government is the real problem here, other than for reasons raised in regard to NCLB.

September 28, 2010 at 6:29 p.m.
SCOTTYM said...

In my opinion, formed from memories of the strict disciplinarian teachers of my day contrasted with the ongoing classroom discipline problems as detailed by my own kids on a daily basis, the parents are failing.

We have a nation of parents who will not discipline their children and will not allow the teachers/principals do it either.

It is very difficult for even the most motivated and appreciative of students to excel when half of their teacher's time is being used up trying to keep two or three hellions in line.

I know that I would never make it as a teacher in a public school as I would have a small group of parents who would despise me for being so mean to their poor little demon children.

I'm not sure who came up with the idea of ending corporal punishment and harsh punishments of other types in our schools, but they bear a very large portion of the blame for the poor state of education in this country.

If you can't sit still, close your mouth and put your brain in gear, you can not absorb the information that the teacher is there to share with you. It's pretty simple.

September 28, 2010 at 7:08 p.m.
ITguy said...

Junepop, I am totally impressed. You are amazing. Be careful you may have opened a can of worms.

September 28, 2010 at 8:41 p.m.
Oz said...


The answer is not all about money. The more money we spend on education....the worse things seem to get.

SRO is a nice word for police officer. If a school has an SRO, they have a discipline problem. No one busted the butt of the unruly delinquents as a child and now it takes a police officer to control them. I'm sure VW can't wait to hire these kids.

Why do private schools do a better job than public schools? They kick out unruly children. Teachers in private schools can devote much more time to classroom instruction. We hire teachers to teach but they spend as much or more time on trying to gain control of the classroom. I have yet to hear one politician mention discipline. It is always more money or blame it on the teachers. Also, teachers are teaching the curriculum mandated by the state. Maybe we have a curriculum problem?

We have a parent problem too. If you think your child is going to learn everything they need to know to graduate at school. You don't understand education. Homework is a must and it is called HOMEwork because it must be done at home.

I hear co-workers complain about homework. They are into athletics and they want a college scholarship for their child. Scholarships are useless without an academmic foundation. Plus, I have seen some really good athletes in the Chattanooga area over the years and very few of them were offered a college scholarship. Colleges offer academic scholarships too.

We keep raising the standard for kids that could not meet the lower standards. How is it possible for them to succeed without a foundation?

If children are not college material by the end of the 8th grade. They need to be in a vocational program learning a trade. We need skilled trades people and they can make make a good living with the proper training and guidance. A good self-employed plumber, auto technician, or HVAC technician can make a six figure income. College is not for everyone.

September 28, 2010 at 9:31 p.m.
whatever said...

College is not for everyone.

What? No way! Who doesn't need 4 years of parties and meaningless relationships before you're instantly awarded a high-paying jo...

Oh right, that's only the movie version.

Good luck revamping the education system, there's way too much money in it for anybody to fix anything.

September 28, 2010 at 9:38 p.m.
Oz said...

Just wishful thinking.... I'm glad my children are out of it.

September 28, 2010 at 9:51 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

You guys are correct, and part of the reason other countries do better is that the students are directed early into vocational training. In the UK, the O levels separate kids at age 12 or so; only some go on in straight academics. A levels determine who goes to college. Other countries do the same, so we are measuring all of our kids against their best. I don't necessarily agree with tracking but vocational training is wonderful.

SRO's are necessary, not because of serious crime, but because so many parents don't recognize the authority of teachers and principals (they do recognize the police) It's easier to hand even minor behavior problems to police rather than fight with parents over them.

A public school teacher once told me that the biggest obstacle to teaching was the mainstreaming of kids with behavior and learning problems.

I wouldn't last a week in public school. I don't know how they do it.

September 28, 2010 at 10:45 p.m.
SCOTTYM said...


"the mainstreaming of kids with behavior and learning problems."

As noble as the idea of "mainstreaming" the kids with cognitive disabilities may seem, in a regular classroom where there is only one teacher for 25+ kids the integration of those students will drag everyone down.

Some kids need a lot of special attention. I don't mind paying extra to give them what they need, but I am greatly irked by the educational cost incurred by other students due to valuable instruction time being stolen by noble ideas of social integration in a classroom setting. Sorry to be so harsh, but... If you cannot keep up with the class, you need to be in some other classroom with a group of peers moving at your speed.

As far as I'm concerned, unless the behavior problems are a result of a cognitive disability, the problems can be fixed and the student can be "mainstreamed" into a civilized society, er I mean a regular classroom.

September 28, 2010 at 11:18 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

JunePop rules!

BTW, half of these posts here only stand to EMPHASIZE the meaning of Clay's cartoon today.

September 28, 2010 at 11:22 p.m.
Oz said...

I wish the money paid out to private schools had gone into my 401k. However, I might have children unprepared for life and still living at home.

September 28, 2010 at 11:55 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

In answer to Andrew Lohr's earlier post, this was taken directly from the U.S. Constitution:

"For persons born between December 24, 1952 and November 14, 1986, a person is a U.S. citizen if all of the following are true [7]:

  1. One of the person's parents was a U.S. citizen when the person in question was born
  2. The citizen parent lived at least ten years in the United States before the child's birth;
  3. A minimum of 5 of these 10 years in the United States were after the citizen parent's 14th birthday."

This leads me to believe that the birthers hinge their argument on item 3 above...whether or not Ann Dunham lived in the United States for 5 of 10 years before Obama was born AND after she was 14. This rule only stands IF and only IF Obama was not born in Hawaii which seems to be a little hard to prove. So, it seems to me, that this whole Birther Bandwagon is a little "iffy."

But, interestingly enough, John McCain had to become a U.S. citizen by an act of Congress. Hmmm...

For some good information, check these links:

As for education, I must be somewhat naive to believe that in this modern age, every person is entitled to a good education (same belief when it comes to health care). Why can't the public schools provide as good an education as the private ones? The public schools did fine when I attended them...I have an IQ that qualifies me for private school educated friends don't.

I would just like to see people work toward some real solutions for our country instead of nitpicking and name calling.

September 29, 2010 at 12:02 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

I am in full agreement, Scotty.

September 29, 2010 at 7:01 a.m.
Musicman375 said...

Me too, Scotty. A good friend of mine is a special ed. inclusion teacher in the Hamilton county system. On top of what you stated, the bureaucrats in charge of making the rules say he's not allowed to teach the regular ed students while he's in there, nor is he supposed to be in the room without a regular ed teacher present. I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. Even if the class is engaged in group activities, which they should be doing often IMO, he legally cannot give instruction to the regular ed students he is licensed to instruct. Not only does inclusion provide the opportunity for distractions to all students, they're going one step further with these stupid rules for the inclusion teachers as well.

September 29, 2010 at 9:21 a.m.
whatever said...

Want to know why that happens? Because of a concern not to misappropriate tax payer money.

Seriously, they're afraid of being sued if the guy spends time with other students, because that's not what he's being paid to do.

Spending dimes to save nickels, woo!

September 29, 2010 at 12:22 p.m.
mtngrl said...

Way back when i was in school and had research papers, we used things called Encyclopedias and Libraries. You could tell when you were in the "fiction" area and when you were not.

Now days we have the internet, where no such clear distinctions exist. I do not have school age kids. Are they now taught how to distinguish facts from propaganda when doing research?

I think that's a class many adults here could really use....

September 29, 2010 at 3:10 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

mtngirl, in most cases today, students are only permitted to use a limited number of internet sources for their research. They do still venture to the library and learn how to use the now computerized card catalogues, and most teachers allow unlimited traditional sources such as books, journals, etc. And some teachers even require the students to provide the sources of the internet sites themselves. Usually the only internet sites worth using in any case are the ones who cite their sources.

September 29, 2010 at 4:12 p.m.
lkeithlu said...

That's a really good question, mtngrl. In my area there are approved sites that have been vetted by my professional organization; I send my kids to sites I have checked thoroughly. Random googling does no good because they cannot yet narrow the search down (not enough familiarity with the terms) and sometimes they get stuff that's unrelated.

Of course, my area of science is not controversial. Biologists and geologists run up on sites full of creationist nonsense all the time. I was doing research on the Channelled Scablands in Washington state; all sources were consistent except for one; I looked at the url and it was from Answers in Genesis. Bingo.

I would think that History teachers would have even more problems. Any teacher can check the primary sources linked to a website if they were not sure. If primary sources were not given, especially upon request, that's a red flag.

September 29, 2010 at 4:31 p.m.
Musicman375 said...

"because that's not what he's being paid to do."

I disagree with that. He is certified in special education and mathematics, but he, like all teachers, is ultimately there for ALL students' disposal. I am certified in music education K-12, although I'm not currently teaching anywhere, but I have had to teach supplemental math and English classes in the past for which I wasn't certified. The state didn't care in that case.

September 29, 2010 at 4:48 p.m.
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